New Trend: Older Folks Returning to Workforce After Retirement

Traveling. Golf. Relaxing. The leisurely life. These are images many get when they hear the word ‘retirement’. Or they were the images conjured. What was once the ideal American trend – you work hard, earn a good living, and retire to enjoy your golden years – is no longer the general case. With a shaky economy, many older folks are finding they both want and need to be in the workforce.


In June 2008, Kim Murdock, MBA, published an article in CSA Journal entitled The New Retirement: More Older Adults in the Workforce. According to her research, the following statistics exist:


72% of today’s workforce plans to work after retirement (According to AARP)

33% of today’s retirees will be back to work within two years (According to AARP)


Why are older adults returning to the workforce? What challenges do they face? Many retirees are returning because they find the work stimulating and it establishes a sense of accomplishment and belonging in society. Some are returning because of the rise in health care costs, insurance costs and decline in health benefits.


Some employers embrace older workers coming back while some favor younger workers. Older workers tend to be more loyal, committed, on time, and use better judgment than younger workers. However, they are more prone to health challenges and restrictions, less energy, and lacking in technological skills.


Each employer considers all these factors and more in a given situation. The trend is interesting, and as a shift in our workforce takes place, we will do well to remember that the elder population has much to offer on many fronts. Where seniors may lack technological knowledge or energy in comparison to young folks, they make it up in wisdom, good work ethic, and good judgment. As young folks and employers, we would do well to remember what they possess and create the opportunities for them to contribute and us to listen. They have much to offer. Remember that the next time you encounter one of your elders.


Information provided by Golden Horizons Elder Care Services.

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